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Iron Deficiency in Babies and Kids Symptoms, Prevention, Care anemia kannada hindi

India tops the list of nations with most anaemic women and children. Imbalanced diet, poverty and malnutrition remain the main causes. It is the root cause of many disabilities in children and hence it’s time we understand Iron Deficiency in Babies or Children and its Prevention and Care.

Iron Deficiency in Babies or Children | Prevention and Care

(Watch out for a Video at the end of the article)

Iron Deficiency in Babies and Kids Symptoms, Prevention, Care anemia kannada hindi

 

What is Iron?

Iron Deficiency in Babies and Kids Symptoms, Prevention, Care anemia kannada hindi

Iron is an essential nutrient that is crucial for every kid’s growth and development. We need iron to make hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs to the body. If your child has an insufficient dietary intake of iron, it can lead to anemia or iron deficiency.

How much iron does a baby or child need?

Iron Deficiency in Babies and Kids Symptoms, Prevention, Care anemia kannada hindi

For the first 6 months of age, breastfed babies get the required amount of iron from mother’s milk while bottle fed infants should receive iron-fortified formula. Once babies complete 6 months and start solid food, they need different amounts of iron, depending on their age.

Given below is the amount of iron required by the baby per day.

AgeIron per Day
0-6 months0.27 mg
7-12 months11 mg
1-3 years7 mg
4-8 years10 mg
9-13 years8 mg
14-18 years - boys11 mg
14-18 years - girls15 mg

What are the symptoms of Iron Deficiency in Children?

Iron Deficiency in Babies and Kids Symptoms, Prevention, Care anemia kannada hindi

1. Pale Skin: One of the main symptoms of iron deficiency is pale looking skin.  Iron Deficiency prohibits the body from producing an adequate number of red blood cells. Reduced blood flow and lower number of red blood cells can alter the natural color of the skin.

2.  Slow Weight Gain: Iron deficiency can affect the immune system of the baby, making it more susceptible to infections and illness.  Lack of immunity can lead to slow weight gain in babies.

3.  Loss of Appetite: Iron deficiency can cause a variety of symptoms and one common symptom is a loss of appetite. Iron is an essential nutrient for children as it helps to carry oxygen from the lungs to different parts of the body and stores oxygen in the muscles. Deficiency of iron means lesser red blood cells which can cause poor appetite.

4. Fussy and Cranky Baby: Children who lack enough iron may feel tired, weak and cranky due to decreased production of red blood cells.

5. Increased Sweating: When the number of red blood cells is low in your body, it can lead to increased sweating.

6. Failure to Grow at Expected Rate: Iron deficient babies may be less active and develop more slowly. Iron deficiency can hamper toddler’s mental and physical development and cause muscle weakness and delayed motor skills.

7. Strange Food Cravings – eating dirt or mud: Craving non-food items such as clay, dirt etc is a sign of iron deficiency. This condition is known as pica. These unusual cravings are a sign that the body is trying to replenish low nutrient levels.

Also read : 

6 FOODS TO BE AVOIDED for Babies till one year

5 Reasons for Weight Loss In Babies

10 Amazing Facts about Ghee for Babies

Who are at higher risk of Iron Deficiency?

Iron Deficiency in Babies and Kids Symptoms, Prevention, Care anemia kannada hindi

  1. Infants who are born prematurely or who have a low birth weight
  2. Infants above 6 months who are breastfed without any iron-fortified solid foods.
  3. Babies born to mothers who were deficient in iron and with poorly controlled diabetes.
  4. Babies who drink formula which isn’t fortified with iron.
  5. Children who have been exposed to lead
  6. Kids who drink more cow’s milk than recommended.
  7. Adolescent girls who have loss of blood during their menstrual periods.
  8. Picky eaters who do not eat healthy, regular and well-balanced meals.
  9. Vegetarians who do not eat iron-rich foods.
  10. Children with special health needs and medical conditions like chronic infections and intestinal diseases.
  11. Children going through growth spurts.
  12. Young athletes and runners who exercise often are vulnerable to iron deficiency

How is Iron Deficiency examined in Babies and Children?

Iron Deficiency in Babies and Kids Symptoms, Prevention, Care anemia kannada hindi

If your baby shows any symptoms of iron deficiency, then talk to the doctor and examine them using the following ways:

1. Hemoglobin level in blood– The first test to diagnose the iron deficiency is complete blood count (CBC).  It measures the hemoglobin levels in the body.  

2. Peripheral Smear Test for blood– It is a test to examine the abnormalities in red blood cells, white cells and platelets.

Can I give my baby Iron Supplements? Does my Baby or Toddler need Iron Supplements?

Iron Deficiency in Babies and Kids Symptoms, Prevention, Care anemia kannada hindi

Your baby doesn’t require iron supplement if she is healthy and active. It is shown that too high levels of iron can be potentially harmful to the baby. If your baby is fed iron-rich foods and iron supplements also, then the iron supplements will get absorbed first instead of the natural sources of iron. Iron supplements may interfere with the zinc absorption and can even lead to gastric issues like nausea, vomiting and constipation.

Your baby or toddler does not need iron supplementation:

Iron Deficiency in Babies and Kids Symptoms, Prevention, Care anemia kannada hindi

· If your baby is exclusively breastfed for the first six months, he/she will get the required amount of iron from mother’s milk.

· If in case your baby is formula fed, he/she can get iron through iron-fortified formula.

· If the baby is fed iron-rich foods after starting solid foods.

· If your baby does not show any signs and symptoms of iron deficiency or anemia.

In next article continuation to this we shall give more information about Iron Rich Foods and types of and safe Iron Supplements for Babies and Kids.

Iron Deficiency in Babies or Children | Prevention and Care

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